Accurate modeling of protein–protein interaction interface is essential for high-quality protein complex structure prediction. Existing approaches for estimating the quality of a predicted protein complex structural model utilize only the physicochemical properties or energetic contributions of the interacting atoms, ignoring evolutionarily information or inter-atomic multimeric geometries, including interaction distance and orientations.
Here, we present PIQLE, a deep graph learning method for protein–protein interface quality estimation. PIQLE leverages multimeric interaction geometries and evolutionarily information along with sequence- and structure-derived features to estimate the quality of individual interactions between the interfacial residues using a multi-head graph attention network and then probabilistically combines the estimated quality for scoring the overall interface. Experimental results show that PIQLE consistently outperforms existing state-of-the-art methods including DProQA, TRScore, GNN-DOVE and DOVE on multiple independent test datasets across a wide range of evaluation metrics. Our ablation study and comparison with the self-assessment module of AlphaFold-Multimer repurposed for protein complex scoring reveal that the performance gains are connected to the effectiveness of the multi-head graph attention network in leveraging multimeric interaction geometries and evolutionary information along with other sequence- and structure-derived features adopted in PIQLE.
An open-source software implementation of PIQLE is freely available at https://github.com/Bhattacharya-Lab/PIQLE.
Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics Advances online.